The Florianópolis program offers you an opportunity to immerse yourself in an incredibly diverse and dynamic culture while living on a beautiful sub-tropical island and studying at one of South America’s most prestigious universities. This program is ideal for students who want to learn about the world’s fifth-largest country, one of the fastest-growing economies, and its diverse mix of European, African, and indigenous cultures. You’ll also enjoy soaking up the beautiful weather and sandy white beaches of the southeastern Brazilian coast.
Brazilian Culture Studies, Global Economy, and Natural Resource Management
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)
USAC classes are held at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), recently ranked the 12th best university in Latin America. Known locally as “oofski” or “the Federal,” UFSC is known across Latin America for its leadership in research. Its green, spacious, and modern campus is relatively new and is host to laboratories and technologically advanced facilities. Students enjoy free wifi access, a very low-cost lunch service, and are able to participate in many different dance, music, and sporting groups. UFSC also has its own hospital as well as elementary, middle, and high schools and several charitable groups on campus, which helps create a very strong sense of community.
Interesting fact about the city
Florianópolis has 42 beaches! Do you think you can visit all 42 in a semester abroad?!
Best weekend travel destinations
With an average temperature of 70 degrees year-round, it’s going to be difficult to decide to leave Florianópolis, but if you’re looking for a weekend getaway, you can head an hour up the coast to Balneário Camboriú a resort city known for its high rise buildings and beaches. A bit of a further drive and more inland you’ll find São Joaquim, which is known as the coldest city in Brazil. In the winter you’ll find snow and the rest of the year you’ll be greeted by welcoming locals, enchanting and colorful landscapes, and a city of around 26,000 inhabitants. To experience even more of Brazil and the Santa Catarina island, we recommend participating in the following field trips!
Field trips (vary by term)
Tour of Santa Catarina
A daylong tour of the island to discover the natural and historical beauty of your study abroad destination. The tour will include visits to famous beaches, rocks, lagoons and one of Florianopolis’ most beautiful old settlements, Santo Antonio da Lisboa. Included will be a picnic overlooking the principal lake of the island, Lagoa da Conceição.
Visit the historical city of Blumenau, one of the principal centers of German immigration in southeastern Brazil. A highly attractive German settlement founded in 1850, it still maintains many German traditions and customs. Featuring Alpine architecture and many historical buildings, it is a perfect place to explore old Europe against a backdrop of modern Brazil. While the center is a picture postcard of nineteenth-century Germany, the city’s outskirts offer a prime example of Brazilian industrialization. This day trip will consist of a tour of Blumenau given by a local guide and a view of the gorgeous Itajaí Valley surrounding the city.
Lagoinha do Leste
This trip will involve doing one of the most gorgeous hikes on the island (and in all of southern Brazil), taking you to a deserted beach on the eastern shore which is only accessible by walking. On the way you will visit the quaint fishing village of Armação and after the hike, a lunch in Pántano do Sul, another quiet settlement further south.
The town of Laguna is famous in Brazil for being the residence of one of the most famous women in the country’s history: Anita Garibaldi. The wife of the Italian revolutionary took part in Brazil’s first independence movement in the eighteenth century and today you can visit her home and a nearby museum dedicated to her colorful and eventful life. This day trip will include visits to a traditional Portuguese quinta (country manor) and to a beautiful lighthouse.
This unique day trip is ideal for anyone interested in the sea. Take a journey up the coast to Porto Belo, an idyllic island less than a mile offshore. The trip will include a boat trip to discover the surrounding area and to learn about the local marine life, as well as an ecological trail that leads to the top of the island where there are ancient rock inscriptions.
São Francisco do Sul
Discover the historic settlement of São Francisco do Sul, an enclave of Portuguese origin that became the first village of Santa Catarina with the arrival of bandeirantes (explorers) from São Paulo in the seventeenth century. The center boasts 150 historic buildings, and walking through it will feel like taking a step back in time and living in colonial Brazil. As well as a walking tour, we will visit the port, considered the best natural harbor in the South of Brazil, and come into contact with some of the local fishing traditions of the region.
Whale Watching Trip
The whale watching season begins in July and you will have a unique opportunity to encounter southern right whales on their journey from Antarctic waters to give birth and nurture their young off the southern Brazilian coast. The day trip will involve a journey to the stunning bay of Imbituba, south of Florianópolis, to view whales and dolphins.
What students have to say
“I had a wonderful summer studying abroad in Brazil. USAC has a great staff and did a good job of organizing activities/events/classes given the length the program existed. I loved the host family I stayed with and lived in a beautiful neighborhood that was close to the school. I really enjoyed the classes I took as well. They were very hands on and the professors seemed to be passionate about what they were teaching. For example, for my Dance and Music class we went to a live concert to see first hand what we were learning about. I also recommend taking the Brazilian Cooking class!!” Courtney, University of Iowa
“If you are looking for a place that has an abundance of nature, animals, and amazing people, without sacrificing academics and nightlife/entertainment; then this is your place. Floripa is incredible and USAC offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore it alongside fun and engaging tours that happen often throughout your study abroad trip.” Ben, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
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